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Deep beneath the windswept waters near Istanbul, Jack and his crack team of experts have uncovered a surprising clue to the location of the fabled treasure plundered during the Crusades. Meanwhile, in a dusty cathedral library, someone unearths a long-forgotten medieval map. Together the two discoveries will solve an ancient mystery--and spark a race to stop a present-day conspiracy of staggering proportions. From diving into the core of an arctic iceberg to the last stand of a Viking warship to an extraordinary revelation deep in the jungles of Central America, Jack is headed straight into a globe-spanning clash of civilizations, into an astounding underground labyrinth steeped in blood and horrors--and to a confrontation with a killer on a shattering crusade of his own.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 175.
- Review Date: 2007-08-06
- Reviewer: Staff
In Gibbins's sequel to Atlantis, marine archeologist Jack Howard searches for an ancient gold menorah seized by Vespasian's army during the sack of Jerusalem. While Jack and his team of scientists and historians follow clues from Istanbul and England to the Arctic, Canada and Mexico, a group of neo-Nazis (who have co-opted an organization as old as the Crusades and dedicated to the relic's safety) conspire to find and use the menorah to destabilize the world's religions. Stilted exposition, in which Jack details large chunks of history for colleagues who should already know it, mars an otherwise interesting backstory, and cardboard characters rouse little sympathy. Elsewhere, an overwhelming surfeit of detail serves at best to drag down the suspense, at worst to cause terminal confusion. Those with an already-strong sense of Roman, barbarian, Viking and English history, as well as those with a sincere desire to learn, will appreciate Gibbins's alternate history of King Harald Hardrada's defeat, if not necessarily the teacherly style or clunky adventure story in which it's couched. (Oct.)